Air New Zealand Unaccompanied Minor Policy

Air New Zealand’s Unaccompanied Minor Service—known as the Airband Service—applies to children travelling alone (i.e., unaccompanied by an adult passenger who is 15 years or older (at least 16 years on flights from/to Canada). The Airband Service is mandatory for under-12-year-old children travelling alone and optional for children between 12 and 16 years of age.

Air New Zealand may currently not be accepting Unaccompanied Minors on international routes to/from Taipei, Hong Kong, Seoul, Pudong, Shanghai, Niue, and Samoa.

How to Book the Airband Service

Air New Zealand Unaccompanied Minor booking 

  1. View the valid routes in the section titled Age Chart for Unaccompanied Minors (below). 
  2. Book the service by phone (1-866-399-0587) or online. 
    If you’re booking online, enter the date of birth the available flight options will appear.
Before checking in your child, you (i.e., the parent/guardian) must complete the Unaccompanied Minor Form, which includes the names and contact details of the person who will drop off and pick up your child at the departure and arrival airports. 
The person(s) who will deliver or receive your child must present a valid photo ID at the airport. Each one-way journey will require a separate Unaccompanied Minor Form. If you want to make any changes to the persons who will deliver or receive your child, you must inform Air New Zealand, failing which your child may not be allowed to travel. Only the person who made the original flight booking is allowed to make such changes. 

Unaccompanied Minor Baggage Allowance

Unaccompanied Minors are entitled to the same baggage allowance and benefits onboard as adult passengers travelling on the same fares. However, they’re not allowed to make advance seat selections or book Skycouch.

Age Criteria for Unaccompanied Minors

What are the age requirements for Unaccompanied Minors on Air New Zealand?

  • Children below 5 years of age must travel with an adult passenger who is at least 15 years old (at least 16 years old on flights to/from Canada).
  • Children between 5 and 11 years (inclusive) travelling without an adult passenger on select routes must use the Airband Service.
  • Children between 12 and 16 years can either travel alone or use the Airband Service at the partent’s/guardian’s request.

In case of multiple children travelling alone:

Children below 12 years not accompanied by an adult passenger must be declared as Unaccompanied Minors at the time of booking. 

  • Passengers who are at least 15 years old can travel with a 12-year-old and a 2-year-old.
  • Passengers who are 12 years old can travel with an 8-year-old as long as the 8-year-old child has been declared an Unaccompanied Minor

Unaccompanied Minor Service Fees

In addition to the full adult fare, Unaccompanied Minors will be charged a service fee (Airband Service fee). The one-way service fee per Unaccompanied Minor is as follows:

  • NZD 30 on domestic flights (NZD 45 if booked at the airport)
  • NZD 80 on international flights (NZD 120 if booked at the airport)

Unaccompanied Minor Refunds

If you have purchased a fully refundable fare for your child, you can cancel the ticket and receive a refund on the ticket and the service fee. Otherwise, a cancellation fee will apply, depending on the fare type you have purchased for your child.

Age Chart for Unaccompanied Minors

Unaccompanied Minors are only accepted on Air New Zealand-operated flights. The maximum connection time for Unaccompanied Minors must not exceed

  • 2 hours between domestic flights 
  • 3 hours on flights that include an international sector

Unaccompanied Minors must meet the following age requirements for the routes below:

RouteBelow 5 years5 – 7 years8 – 11 years12 – 16 years
Same-day
flights within New Zealand
Must travel with an adult passenger who is at least 15 years oldAllowed to travel as an Unaccompanied MinorAllowed to travel as an Unaccompanied MinorCan either travel alone or as an Unaccompanied Minor at the parent’s/guardian’s request
1 single-sector international flightMust travel with an adult passenger who is at least 15 years old (but at least 16 years old on flights to/from Canada)Allowed to travel as an Unaccompanied MinorAllowed to travel as an Unaccompanied MinorCan either travel alone or as an Unaccompanied Minor at the parent’s/guardian’s request
1 international flight (single-sector) within the South West Pacific + 1 domestic flight within New Zealand (same-day)Must travel with an adult passenger who is at least 15 years oldMust travel with an adult passenger who is at least 15 years old1Allowed to travel as an Unaccompanied MinorCan either travel alone or as an Unaccompanied Minor at the parent’s/guardian’s request
1 single-sector international flight from/to the South West Pacific + 1 same-day domestic flight within New Zealand Must travel with an adult passenger who is at least 15 years old (but at least 16 years old on flights to/from Canada)Must travel with an adult passenger who is at least 15 old1Allowed to travel as an Unaccompanied MinorCan either travel alone or as an Unaccompanied Minor at the parent’s/guardian’s request
1 single-sector international flight from/to the South West Pacific + 1 same-day single sector international flight within the South West PacificMust travel with an adult passenger who is at least 15 years old (but at least 16 years old on flights to/from Canada)Must travel with an adult passenger who is at least 15 old1Allowed to travel as an Unaccompanied MinorCan either travel alone or as an Unaccompanied Minor at the parent’s/guardian’s request
2 single-sector international flights within the South West PacificMust travel with an adult passenger who is at least 15 years oldMust travel with an adult passenger who is at least 15 old1Allowed to travel as an Unaccompanied MinorCan either travel alone or as an Unaccompanied Minor at the parent’s/guardian’s request
Note
1. You (i.e., the parent/guardian) must meet the Unaccompanied Minor on arrival, where specified. The Unaccompanied Minor can be checked in up to the intermediary point, baggage claim, and customs, if applicable, and be handed over to the parent/guardian for checking in for the next flight. You must remain at the airport until the flight has departed. If the flight is delayed or cancelled, you will be responsible for the Unaccompanied Minor’s care.

2. The maximum time for connecting flights (where permitted) is 2 hours between domestic flights and 3 hours between flights that include an international sector.

3. The table above table applies only to flights operated/marketed by Air New Zealand.

4. Tasman and Pacific flights include services between New Zealand and Australia, Fiji, the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, and Norfolk Island and are subject to the fare rules that apply to adult fares.

5. South West Pacific routes include the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Fiji, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Futuna Islands, Wallis, Tuvalu, Tonga, and the Solomon Islands, and Samoa.
6. Unaccompanied Minors connecting to/from another carrier will be accepted only if their parent/guardian can deliver and receive them at the arrival and destination airports of the Air New Zealand flight. The Unaccompanied Minor should be checked in (on NZ flights only) and handed over to the parent or guardian so that they can be checked in for the next flight. The parent or guardian must remain at the intermediary airport until the flight has departed. If the flight is delayed or cancelled, the parent or guardian must take charge of the Unaccompanied Minor’s care. 
7. Keep an additional 30 minutes as Unaccompanied Minors are required to go through additional check-in procedures. This will ensure that all the required procedures are completed before the bag drop and check-in deadline. The Unaccompanied Minor must carry valid ID proof (such as a passport and visa for international travel), along with their e-ticket. Unaccompanied Minors travelling without checked baggage must still complete all the required additional check-in procedures. 
8. You must seek medical advice if your child has a medical condition and requires assistance during travel, or is likely to be affected by the flight. If your child has a disability, you must get in touch with the Paxcare Team (see below) and apprise them of your child’s requirements and the type of assistance the airline staff can provide for your child. The contact details are:Email: medaclearance@airnz.co.nzPhone: +64 9 255 7757

How Airband Works

The Unaccompanied Minor will be provided a special wristband (called Airband) at the check-in counter. The Airband will be scanned by a staff member at certain stages of the journey so that updates can be regularly shared via text messages with up to 5 drop-off and pick-up contacts nominated by the parent/guardian. Such messages (excluding travel from Niue) will be sent:

  • After airport check-in to confirm registration
  • When boarding the aircraft 
  • At the time of landing 
  • After the Unaccompanied Minor is handed over to the ground staff
  • When the Unaccompanied Minor is picked up by the designated nominee 

Drop off and pick up

  • Bring your child to a Special Assistance counter along with your photo ID and your child’s valid travel documents incl. the Unaccompanied Minor Form (and passport and visa if travelling internationally).
  • Keep an additional 30 minutes to complete all check-in procedures. 
  • A staff member will check your child’s travel documents, ID, and contact details, and issue an Airband. 

Note. Your child must carry paper copies of all travel documentation, incl. vaccination proof and pre-departure test results.

  • A staff member will escort your child through security to the departure gate and hand her/him over to the cabin crew (at some airports, you may be allowed to escort your child to the departure gate). You (or the adult accompanying your child to the airport) must remain at the airport until the flight departs. 

During the flight 

  • Your child will be provided a seat near the cabin crew’s work areas to ensure easy supervision. 
  • The cabin crew will switch on the parental locks on screens for all Unaccompanied Minors. 
  • After landing, a crew member will escort your child through the arrivals process, help with baggage collection, and finally hand her/him over to the person designated by you (after checking their valid photo ID).

Flight delays and disruptions

If your child’s flight is delayed or diverted to another airport: 

  • Air New Zealand will contact you and let you know. 
  • If an alternative mode of transportation (road, etc.) is offered, the options will be discussed with you in advance. 
  • You can receive real-time information (incl. changes) by downloading Air New Zealand’s mobile app and entering your child’s flight details. 
  • Your child will be provided food per standard protocols for delays. 
  • In case of overnight accommodations, a female staff member will look after your child throughout. 

Meals

  • If your child:
  • Is flying around New Zealand, she/he must have a seat+bag booking. 
  • Is flying on trans-Tasman and Pacific Island routes, she/he must be booked on the theworks fare. 
  • Has special dietary needs (vegan, gluten-free, children’s meals, etc.), you can request a special meal by phone (1-866-399-0587) or online (at the time of booking or later). 
  • Children are allowed to carry a snack box, subject to restrictions on liquids, aerosols, and gels (especially drinks, yogurts, etc.) on international flights. 
  • Non-packaged, uneaten foods must be disposed of upon landing.

Frequently Asked Questions on Air New Zealand Unaccompanied Minor Policy

If you need to update the drop-off or pick-up contact details, you can do it online via the Manage booking tab or by phone (1-866-399-0587). You also have the option to list/manage the names of up to 5 people you would like to receive the updates via text message.

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